Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary resigned on Friday evening, amid a scandal involving his excessive use of private chartered flights at taxpayer expense. This marks Trump’s first loss of a cabinet member to scandal, eights months into his administration. That’s remarkable, considering that President Barack Obama didn’t lose a cabinet member to scandal in eight years. Trump is on the verge of losing four more cabinet members as well.
Price was forced to resign under intense public pressure. Four other Trump cabinet members have been caught partaking in similar antics (link). Now that the American public has drawn the line on such behavior, there is every reason to expect more resignations from Trump’s cabinet. None of this should come as a shock; Trump seemed to pick the most financially corrupt people he could find for each position, many of whom he owed favors to. It gets worse.
Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign after he’d been on the job for just twenty-four days, due to his role in the Trump-Russia scandal. Flynn was not technically a cabinet member, but he was considered to be in a cabinet level position. Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, also a cabinet level position, controversially resigned due to his internal feud with Anthony Scaramucci – who himself was fired just a few days later.
Nearly every president loses cabinet members over the years to retirement, burnout, or shifts in direction. President Obama lost multiple cabinet members along the way, but none of them were due to scandal during his entire eight years. Donald Trump has lost his ability to make that claim after just eight months. If we’re being realistic instead of technical, Trump lost that claim after just twenty-four days. Drain the swamp? The Trump administration is the swamp.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report